Monthly Archives: May 2014

Worth a read 05/29/2014

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Worth a read 05/24/2014

  • Education is one of the most frequent topics discussed in the Sapling Foundation’s TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Talks. The presentations, which are part of TED conferences held worldwide since 1990, feature some of the world’s foremost thinkers in a variety of fields sharing their brightest ideas.

    In 2006, when the videos became available for free streaming on TED’s website, their already fervent following exploded. With over 140 presentations on education topics — ranging from inspiring critical thinking and creativity in students to online learning and MOOCs ​— currently listed in the site’s massive library, you’d be forgiven for becoming overwhelmed.

    To give you a starting point (or a good place to dive back in), here are six of our favorites.

    tags: TED video KDSBytes education

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Worth a read 05/22/2014

  • “The ability to link various documents within Google Apps makes it ideal for a digital Guided Reading program. Bringing Guided Reading into the Google realm has made it simple for me to consolidate my plans, texts, student work, and assessment into one location. It all begins with the Guided Reading Launch Page, a hub which, through linking, allows quick and easy access to:

    a weekly schedule
    anecdotal assessment documents
    an assessment form
    digital texts
    guided group folders (within which I store tasks, student work, and texts)”

    tags: google apps reading KDSBytes literacy GAFE

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Worth a read 05/20/2014

  • “Mrs. Cooper’s second graders were asked to show their understanding of the water cycle and to do this we decided to have the students add something to their blog. However, a visual is extremely helpful in understanding so we chose to have the children draw a picture in the Drawing Box app, import it into Explain Everything where it would be recorded, save it to the camera roll, then upload it to their post on KidBlog. All of this was accomplished on our iPad minis!”

    tags: KDSBytes Explain Everything iPad

  • “Having iPads redefines many elements of teaching, learning, and assessment.  These past 2 years, I’ve experienced a learning curve not unlike that of a brand spankin’ new teacher.  This year I’ve begun to make the shift from technology-empowered teacher to a teacher who empowers students more.  It takes time, but when I let go and give more control to the kids, I’m not disappointed.  On the contrary, I realize that I didn’t know what I didn’t know about my students.  The more I learn about them and their thinking, and the more I impart this feedback to them so they know themselves better, the more we all understand the mathematics.”

    tags: KDSBytes Explain Everything screencasting

  • “Providing timely and effective feedback on student work is a critical component to any classroom. As students increasingly operate and create in a digital environment, emerging tools provide unique new opportunities for teachers to provide feedback on both written work and video projects.”

    tags: KDSBytes Explain Everything Google Drive feed feedback formative assessment

  • “Explain Everything is an app that lends itself easily to almost any assignment at any grade-level.  It allows users to add images, text, and drawings to a single page (app-folks call this an “interactive whiteboard”).  It also lets you create multiple pages or slides with those images, text, and drawings (just like an old-school PowerPoint).  To kick it up a notch, you can record your voice as you click through your slides, annotating (drawing or adding text and image) as you talk.

    tags: KDSBytes Explain Everything apps presentation tools

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Explain everything

Retrieved from

Today at MC some staff attended a workshop about using Explain Everything on the iPads.

The following are some of the resources we looked at and also some links to further information.

Here’s an Explain Everything video from iPad guru Tony Vincent. In it he uses various features of the app to visualise what the number of apps in the apps store looks like. Of course it’s a little out-of-date now but the video gives a good overview of what’s possible with Explain Everything.

This is a video created by primary aged students on the lifecycle of butterflies.

Another one on Digital Citizenship:

This video gives a quick rundown of some of the basic features and also shows an example of a student using Explain Everything to show his thinking while balancing a chemical equation.

Several more examples from primary students can be found on this blog post Using Explain Everything in the Primary Classroom

This post explains the process used by some year 6 students to create videos about the water cycle using Explain Everything and iMovie. This is one of the final products:

IMG 0711 from libby on Vimeo.

You don’t always have to create videos. In this video we see how one teacher uses Explain Everything as a mobile IWB.

This post from The History 2.0 Classroom explains how Greg Kulowiec uses Explain Everything to:

  1. Create Graphics/Posters/Diagrams
  2. Brainstorm ideas and projects (recording the process)
  3. As an interactive white board with a recordable option
  4. As a powerful platform for presentations

The Explain Everything website has lots of video tutorials and there is a free manual available on the iBooks store – follow this link on your iPad to download it.

I’ve written about Explain Everything on Bytes before, you can read it here.

Worth a read 05/15/2014

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

90 second news challenge

Image retrieved from

ABC Splash are running a 90 second news challenge for students. Students are challenged to create a 90 second news video based around the theme ‘What do we need to know about your community in 90 seconds’.

Find more information, resources, tips and full details of how to enter here.

News reports can be created using a mobile phone or video camera or this would be an excellent activity for students to do using the iPads. Entries are open now and the competition closes on June 10. The best videos will by published on the ABC Splash site.

I’ve written about ABC Splash here or you can find out more about ABC Splash here.


Storybird is a tool to use for creative writing with students to create beautiful illustrated books. Storybird can be used on a computer or through a browser on an iPad. It is suitable for creating picture books or long-form (chapter) books or even poetry.

Storybird has hundreds of themed sets of illustrations freely available to use to illustrate a story. Here’s a snapshot of just a few from a search for penguins:

Storybird - Artful Storytelling

Search for artwork to fit an existing story or browse the illustrations to inspire a new story. When the story is complete it can be shared free of charge via a link, embedding on a website, through social media or email; or for around $2 you can download a high-quality pdf for printing. There is even the option to have a proper bound book printed from around $15 and they do deliver to Australia.

Teachers can create accounts for their students and then monitor progress and provide feedback through the writing process. Students are able to view and comment on each others work in a safe online space.

Imagine how thrilled the children will be to share their beautifully illustrated stories with their families.

My story isn’t going to win any prizes but it gives you a little idea of what is possible.

Here is some feedback about Storybird from teachers:

Storybird - Storybird for Schools

Worth a read 05/11/2014

  • “The ultimate goal of teaching is understanding. But sometimes it’s easier to talk than to teach, as we all know, especially when we need to cover a lot of material in a short amount of time. We hope students will understand, if not now then before test time, and we keep our fingers crossed that their results will indicate we’ve done our job. The problem is, we often rely on these tests to measure understanding and then we move on. There isn’t always time to address weaknesses and misunderstandings after the tests have been graded, and by that time it’s too late for students to be interested.

    Below are 22 simple assessment strategies and tips to help you become more frequent in your teaching, planning, and curriculum design.”

    tags: KDSBytes assessment formative assessment

  • “Students need a voice.
    By voice, I mean the ability to recognize their own beliefs, practice articulating them in a variety of forms, and then find the confidence — and the platform — to express them.

    The platforms part can go a long way toward serving the confidence part. Introverted students (who may be gifted with self-reflection) might find the openness of a social media channel like Twitter intimidating, but they might also love the idea of long-form blogging, or even communicating indirectly through the creation of mini-documentaries, podcasts or music videos.

    This (correctly) implies that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for students to express themselves and interact with the world. You can indeed insist that all students blog because, from your perspective, it sounds justifiable and beneficial, but if the goal is to help students find their own voice, they will need choices. Here are six very different possibilities, from those text-based to artistic, dramatic to digital,”

    tags: student voice KDSBytes blogging

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Fun Friday – Organising the bookcase

“Miss, have you seen that book I had the other day? It’s green and about this big.”

Uhhhm?!! In my idle moments I’ve occasionally thought life would be so much simpler if we just organised the library by colour and size. Well, here’s an example of what that might look like. Some people just have too much time on their hands!

Organising the bookcase. Retrieved from

Making stop-motion animation can be easier than you think. Our iPads have an app called Stop Motion – could your students organise your bookshelf?